Thursday, October 13, 2011
I've gotten serious enough about running that I need better shoes. Don't get me wrong--I'm still a rank newbie and don't go that fast. I was ecstatic over doing a 5K in 35 minutes, and I have a feeling serious runners would chuckle at that.
I just think, if I'm running about 10 miles a week and slowly yet consistently adding to that, the wear and tear on my joints are worth considering. Apparently my sister (a half-marathon veteran) agrees, because she's getting me new shoes from a running store for my birthday.
Here's the thing: a store employee videotapes your lower legs while you run so they can gauge your needs. The idea of an extremely healthy, experienced runner watching me shake my not-so-athletic, not-s0-firm, glaringly amateur stuff from behind makes me wonder if I could succumb to hives for the first time in my life.
I know I love running and that these shoes will be one of the best gifts ever. I know it doesn't matter what some tiny, toned young thing thinks of my jigglies. I know I will never see these people again anyway unless it's from behind them at some area 5K.
So...please remind me that I need to get over my embarrassment and shake what God gave me at the store clerk without shame?
Monday, October 10, 2011
For the longest time, I had a mental image of myself as being a little chubby, but as having a certain height-to-width ratio that wasn't what I considered fat. After a few horrible photos and the constant evidence of a mirror showed me that I was much bigger than I wanted to believe, I began feeling very unhappy in my own skin, continually thinking about how awful I looked.
Oddly, I don't think less of my friends or value my family less when they're overweight, so I don't think disgust with myself was a proper response. I've learned a lot about not letting weight affect my self-love any more than it affects how I love others. But my horror was useful in that it motivated me to stick with my calorie limits and track everything.
I lost about 25 pounds and seemed well on my way. I had to buy new clothes that weren't falling off me and realized one day that I looked like my earlier mental image of myself. I'm not what I consider the f-word (fat) anymore. A guy actually hit on me. I can't exaggerate my astonishment at actually attracting a member of the opposite sex.
It's awesome that I was feeling better, but just like that, my motivation to restrain my eating disappeared. I kept running because I'm addicted now, but I stop tracking calories and immediately put my weight loss engine into neutral. I ran my first 5K since high school, but I haven't lost weight in a month.
I'm still not horrified by my weight anymore, but I don't want to just be not-that-fat. I want to look great. I want to feel fantastic for having met my goals. When I go on a medical mission to Ecuador in February and see friends in Quito for the first time in 13 years, I don't want to be 40 pounds heavier than the me they remember.
After all, I'm 13 years more practiced at picking flattering clothes and putting on makeup. Back then I dressed based entirely on comfort, had a terrible haircut, and hadn't figured out what to do about facial hair. I think I could look BETTER than they remember.
I've lost sight of my initial goal of looking and feeling my BEST, and I'm going to spend this week re-focusing the binoculars on the finish line. I'll be digging through old photos to make a fresh montage, finding pictures of great bodies to emulate, and setting some new running goals. I'll stop kidding myself about moderation and eliminate my worst two saboteurs: coffee and wine.
Yesterday went great--I met my calorie goals even though I got bored and hungry after reaching my limit. Today is going to be great, too.
Friday, September 30, 2011
I've been in denial about being addicted to something I used to hate, but a few thoughts that have skittered through my mind lately have finally led me to admit I have a problem.
"Should I feel worried that I wanted to throw up after running? I'd hate to have to tone it down just so I don't throw up afterward."
"Thank goodness it's lunch time so I can go run."
"I've already gone two and a half miles, and it's only 6:30 am. I might as well just do a 5K."
"I don't want to read my book while I run today; it will distract me from how good this feels."
"If I lose more weight, it will be easier for me to run."
"Maybe I should cut all my hair off so I don't have to worry about fixing it after I run on my lunch break."
"I wish I didn't have to stop yet."
Edited to add: Thanks for being concerned, those of you who took this seriously. I have only been doing between 11- and 13-minute miles, which is not very fast. I'm on a cushioned treadmill and have done a couple of tests to be sure I have no pronation issues. Heck, I barely even get sore on my longest runs, and have never run longer than 30 minutes at a time or even combo walked/run for more than an hour. The one time I started hurting more the longer I went, I stopped far short of my usual daily amount so I'd be sure I hadn't injured myself. I've gotten queasy twice, both times after a 5K distance, but the nausea passed quickly, and I think it was just a result of not taking time to cool down properly before taking a cool shower. I generally do 6 - 10 miles in a week, and always take at least one (but often two) full days off each week.
Heck, I even took this quiz: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/assessm
ent_questions.asp?quizid=77 It told me "You have a healthy relationship with exercise."
This was tongue in cheek. I'm loving running, and didn't realize that it might seem like I was being serious until after your comments got me to re-read it.
Monday, September 19, 2011
When I'm trying to convince myself not to have fries with that, 500 calories doesn't seem like that big a deal. When I'm on the treadmill, though, I can spend an hour working hard enough that getting sweat all over my surroundings becomes an actual problem, just to burn just 300.
It never ceases to amaze me how much work it takes to get rid of the number of calories that only take two minutes to consume. I know there are many benefits to exercise, but I honestly think the biggest one for me is that I'm learning the value of a calorie.
It's just so much easier not to put the food in my mouth in the first place. So why can it be harder to say, "No, thanks, just the sandwich," than to jog for 45 minutes?
Oh, well. If it were easy, everyone would get healthy and stay that way. I'm just going to have to be tougher than most, and I have some experience with that. Heh.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
My company teaches car manufacturers to install express service operations in their existing automotive service departments.
It's more interesting than it sounds, I swear.
Anyway, one thing my boss hammers into new consultants is how important it is not to let the express techs take tiny shortcuts, like neglecting to check the wipers every time or not putting the oil cap on the hood latch. Little things, but not checking the wipers means missing a chance to sell wipers and keep the customer safer in unexpected rain. Putting the oil cap on the latch means no customer drives off without the oil cap in place (because it's impossible to close the hood until the tech remembers to put it back).
More importantly, he says that small shortcuts tend to accumulate until the whole process is fouled up and has to be taught from scratch.
That is what has happened to my weight loss in the last two weeks. When I began, I had figured out what worked for me. Some key ingredients were cutting out coffee and alcohol. Also, no matter how "wrong" it is, I do better if I eat two or three hundred calories through the day and have a hugely satisfying dinner and late-night snack. I also figured out that running 3.5 miles on Sunday and 1.5 every day all week was energizing and do-able.
Once I had those items in place, it became easy to stick to my calorie limits and exercise goals. I was losing steadily, at 1-2 pounds a week. Perfect.
Then, I noticed that if I had lots of extra calories at the end of the day, drinking a couple of glasses of wine was a nice way to relax before bed. No biggie. But it left me slow the next morning. So I started having more coffee.
At first this was very rare, and the fact that I continued to succeed with my goals made me think it wasn't a big deal to occasionally splurge while staying within my limits.
Pretty soon a full third of my daily calories was from liquids, which left me more hungry. Which led to having a bigger breakfast and made it hard to enjoy a good dinner without going over my limits. Then my kids' dad had to work three Sundays this month and I lost all kinds of miles as a result, even though I could make up some of it on Mondays.
Before I knew it, I was failing to meet my calorie limit about as many days as I was succeeding. I'm also fell back into the upper/downer cycle of coffee/wine. That makes it harder to drink my water because I have a cup of coffee on my desk instead of a bottle of water. Some of this is situational, but most of it is just that I started making tiny cheats that snowballed into massive problems.
Half the time, if I feel like I've blown it, I just don't track my calories toward the end of the day. I've stopped drinking enough water. I'm still not quite crashing and burning, which is nice because I don't have ground to make up. But I do need to get back on the road quickly, before I lose sight of the goal and take off at a right angle to the track, into the wilderness of failure and self-loathing and eating an entire box of Little Debbies on the weekend.
I veered from the formula that was working, and it's gotten to be a habit.
So. This morning I'm having coffee. But tonight I won't have more than 5 ounces of wine--a soothing treat instead of a sleep aid. The morning after that, no more coffee except on Sunday mornings with my sister.
I know how to do this. I just have to shake off the bad habits and start checking every windshield wiper and putting the oil cap on the hood latch every time. Before it starts taking me 45 minutes to do a 30-minute oil change or I accidentally forget to put oil in the car after the filter is changed.
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